Reading List: Someone Needs to Take Control at Yahoo

Each day we provide a roundup of five stories from around the Web that our editors read and found noteworthy. Follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day @digiday.

Yahoo Needs a CEO: Apparently, here’s what happens when nobody is in charge. You have executives writing bizarre memos like this one from Yahoo CMO Elisa Steele (reported by Kara Swisher of All Things D). In announcing changes to Yahoo’s marketing team, a defiant Steele seems to take a shot at a certain someone while seemingly telling Yahoo that “I can’t be laid off.” “However, whatever I decide to do next for my career is my choice — and I’ll think about that on my own timeline,” Steele wrote. In a way, there is nobody around to fire Steele, because Yahoo still hasn’t installed someone to replace ousted CEO Carol Bartz. It needs to asap, or strange stuff like this will continue to happen. It’s a wonder how Steele has lasted even this long. She was behind the expensive, disastrous Yahoo branding campaign “It’s You,” which essentially announced that Yahoo is a customizable portal, something Americans discovered in 1998 or so. AllThingsD — Mike Shields @digitalshields

The Creative Technologist Fad: The ad agency world is in a painful transition to a world of digital media. That’s led to an influx of new roles in hierarchies that were pretty established for decades. One of those new roles is the elusive “creative technologist.” It was started with good intentions: to bridge the gap between the ideas people and the execution needed in digital. Tech folks have historically had a tough time within agency cultures. But the term “creative technologist” also became watered down, according to Wieden + Kennedy’s Igor Clark, himself a creative technologist. There are too many charlatans out there using the title for his taste — and it does a disservice to the real coders that agencies need. Wieden + Kennedy blog — Brian Morrissey @bmorrissey

Clutter? What Clutter?: Apparently no one, and especially not Wall Street, is listening to the naysayers, occupiers, or the press and people who say that too much easy money is being tossed at cash-ravenous tech companies. TriplePoint Capital, a company that funds big-name tech and social companies like Facebook, YouTube, and AppNexus just raised $1 billion in an economy so bad the government is shutting down post offices. Despite the fact that many startups aren’t making money for their investors, TriplePoint’s roster of funded companies is a stable of champion fillies. If your startup gets funded by TriplePoint, you’ll get to hawk your tech wares in a reception area that might have a Mark Zuckerberg or Brian O’Kelley skateboarding by. TriplePoint has enough blue-chip companies in its roster that it doesn’t need to do much more. But are there really that many worthy investments left out there? The ad tech and social media industries might be the only corner of the economy, perhaps in the world, where it isn’t a case of “it’s the economy, stupid.” That is, if you are a TriplePoint-funded company. MarketWatch — Carla Rover @carlarover

The Death of Deep-Packet Inspection: Having failed to gain traction with its controversial deep-packet inspection ad targeting technology, Phorm has raised yet another round of funding as it continues its elusive search for customers. After trials and talks with ISPs in the U.K. and the U.S. were nixed because of privacy concerns, the firm tried its luck first in Korea and then in Brazil. Despite one deployment with a Brazilian ISP, the company has yet to generate any revenue after five years in the market, though, perhaps signaling the death of ISP-level ad targeting altogether. PaidContent — Jack Marshall @JackMarshall

Tech’s Girl Shortage: There is a saying in China: Women hold up half the sky. Although it’s not part of the Chinese proverb, a woman working in the tech industry could certainly be forgiven for adding, “except if you happen to be standing in Silicon Valley.” In an interview, Marissa Mayer, a senior Google exec and one of the most powerful women in the tech industry, talks about why it’s important to recruit women into this world. Hint: it’s not just to satisfy affirmative action benchmarks. HuffPo — Anne Sherber
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